/Tag: The Village

Left Foot Charley Hosts Riesling March Madness

Battle of the Rieslings

Who needs basketball match-ups when you can battle it out to see which Riesling reigns supreme! Left Foot Charley is getting in on the March Madness with a Riesling wine contest.

Beginning Thursday March 15 and running for four weeks they will match up current and previous vintages of Left Foot Charley Riesling in a bracket-style tournament. Stop by their winery located at The Village at Grand Traverse Commons to taste, compare and vote for the winners on Thursday and Friday of each week.

Left Foot Charley has chosen 8 wines for the field that range from dry to sweet, pulling from vintages as far back as 2008, including a rare Riesling collaboration never previously offered for tasting or for sale.

The cost is $5 for the samples and the opportunity to vote. Guests who participate each week will be entered to win a $25 Left Foot Charley gift certificate.

We can’t resist a good Riesling, and Left Foot Charley has been producing them for years. Get in on the March fun and join the Riesling Madness. Specialty food pairings from Trattoria Stella as well as cheese and accoutrements will also be available for purchase. Glass pours and bottle sales are a way to extend the enjoyment – and perhaps pick up something unexpected.

Cheers!

By |2018-12-12T09:18:08+00:00March 15th, 2018|Events, Wineries|2 Comments

Traverse Traveler Holiday Gift Guide 2012

Traverse Traveler Holiday Gift Guide 2012

Writing a Holiday Gift Guide has become a tradition. I realize scouring the stores in search of the perfect gift isn’t for everyone. So I try to help out this time of year and do a little hunting on your behalf. Secretly I’m also trying to show some support for our local retailers who work so hard to find unique items that rival that of chain stores and online giants. Why buy big box, when you can buy local and boost the economy in our own backyard.

This year I’ve divided my shopping list into the following categories. I hope you’ll find something that’s just right for a friend or loved one.

Goodies for Foodies

All Geeked Out

Girlfriend Gifts

Wine About It

Hostess with the Mostest

For the Kiddos

 

Goodies for Foodies

Traverse Traveler Gift Guide 2012 Sleeping Bear Raw HoneySleeping Bear Farms Raw Honey | MI Farm Market $12.99
One of my absolute favorite food discoveries this year is this raw honey from Sleeping Bear Farms in Beulah, Michigan. This is natural, uncooked, unfiltered honey. It’s a little cloudy and granular but all the better for it. And it’s full of health benefits from the enzymes, pollen and floral essences the bees leave behind. One of my secret weapons against a cold is a teaspoon of this honey the moment I feel a sore throat coming on. Honey has antibacterial qualities. And who doesn’t love an excuse to eat a spoonful of goodness!

 

Traverse Traveler Gift Guide 2012 Cranberry Cherry SauceCranberry Cherry Sauce | The Cherry Stop $7.00
We love our cherry products in Northern Michigan. But sometimes it’s hard to find something new for the cherry lover in the family. Here’s one I discovered on a recent trip to the Cherry Stop. Instead of the traditional cranberry sauce with your turkey this year why not liven it up with cranberry cherry sauce. No need for a recipe, the folks at The Cherry Stop have mixed up a batch with just the right blend.

 

Traverse Traveler Gift Guide 2012 Fustinis MinisCookbook Samplers | Fustini’s $49.00
Anyone who has seen my kitchen counter knows how much I love Fustini’s. And I’ve given their oil & vinegar combinations as gifts in the past. So what’s new this year? They have a brand new cookbook, "How Fustini’s Do Fustini’s," a compilation of recipes from Fustini’s employees and customers. And for the holidays they’ve paired it with 4 mini bottles of oils & vinegars in flavor combos that work with the book. Choose from 4 sampler packages and try something new this season.

 

Traverse Traveler Gift Guide 2012 Gallery Fifty tongsHandmade Wooden Tongs | Gallery 50 $15.00 and $19.00
Why not have a little fine art in the kitchen? Stop by Gallery 50 in The Village Mercato and choose from a selection of handmade wooden tongs. Constructed from beautiful materials like zebrawood and rosewood, and available in large or small sizes, these handmade tongs are as stylish as they are functional. Great gift idea for men and women, for the chef or the casual cook.

 

Traverse Traveler Gift Guide 2012 Sleeping Bear Farms mustardSleeping Bear Farms Pepper Honey Mustard | MI Farm Market $4.99
Mustard is probably my favorite condiment, next to homemade salsa. So it’s nice to find a fun new alternative to the store bought standbys. This Pepper Honey Mustard has a great kick from real chili peppers. And of course it includes some Sleeping Bear Farms star thistle honey. Great for spreading on sandwiches, as a dip for pretzels or as a glaze on fish or meats headed for the grill.

 


All Geeked Out

Traverse Traveler Gift Guide 2012 Rocker iPhone caseRocker iPhone Case | The Pod Drop $19.00
Cases for the iPhone 5 are somewhat hard to find since they’re still new on the market. But The Pod Drop has you covered. Stop by their location in Campus Plaza next to Jimmy Johns and check out the line of Rocker cases. The silicone skin pairs with a hard body case (sold separately), and comes in dozens of colors and patterns, which make these cases completely customizable. And at $8.99 for the skin, and $9.99 for the cover, they’re priced right for stocking stuffers too.

 

Traverse Traveler Gift Guide 2012 Nest knit glovesSmartphone Gloves | Nest $27.00
As you can imagine, I’m on my iPhone all the time, especially when I’m out and about town. Now that winter is here I’m constantly removing my gloves so I can answer a call, scroll through messages on Twitter or snap a photo on Instagram. I’ve tried other versions of smartphone gloves with little luck…and they weren’t very cute either. That’s why I love these knit gloves I found at Nest. Cute and functional.

 

Traverse Traveler Gift Guide 2012 FRUITstand FRUITstand | CityMac $10.00
Here’s a cool local product for the tech geek. FRUITstand is a simple plastic-coated stand to hold a variety of eDevices, or iDevices if you prefer. It’s small, lightweight, and best of all it’s made by a Traverse City company, PDM Industries. I discovered the FRUITstand on a recent trip into CityMac. They’re available in a variety of fresh colors. Whether you’re looking for a landing spot for your Kindle, or a charging station for you iPhone or iPad, this little stand will do the trick. And at that price if you take it on vacation and forget it you won’t sweat the replacement cost. Now if you forget your device…that’s another story.

 

Traverse Traveler Gift Guide 2012 Paper RobotsPiperoid Paper Pipe Robots | Cool Stuff Express $15.95
For the kid, or the kid at heart, there’s a big trend in paper art and origami. These cool creations are made from printed and punched paper pipes that are folded into crazy robots. Does your cubicle need a little comic entertainment? If you thought origami was too girly, this might change your mind.

 

Traverse Traveler Gift Guide 2012 Q-Man magnetsMini Q-Man & Q-Ant Magnets | Cool Stuff Express $3.97 — $6.95
Trying to find something for that hard-to-buy-for teen in your family? Guys, gals and geeks will love these bendable, flexible, colorful magnet men and giant ants. The powerful magnets stick to each other or metal surfaces allowing for connectable, collectable fun. They’re also strong enough to support 14 sheets of paper! Hang ’em in a locker, file cabinet or on the fridge. Image courtesy of Cool Stuff Express

 


Girlfriend Gifts

Traverse Traveler Gift Guide 2012 Becky Thatcher Designs necklaceStarry Night Necklace | Becky Thatcher Designs starting at $275.00
I love a classic necklace that can dress up an outfit, or be worn with a casual sweater and jeans. That’s what drew me to this beautiful jewelry from Becky Thatcher Designs in Traverse City. Made from black spinel and freshwater pearls in a variety of shades from white to gray this necklace would be a lovely addition to anyone’s jewelry collection. And the matching earrings start at $65. Perfect.

 

Traverse Traveler Gift Guide 2012 Return of Sexy eyeshadowReturn of Sexy Eyeshadow Collection | Venus $48.00
Ladies who love a little drama will be drawn to this wet/dry eyeshadow collection from Too Faced. There are three color collections, 15 shadows full of sparkle and dimension, a waterproof black liner and eyeshadow insurance (a primer for your eyelids). That’s bringin’ sexy back.

 

Traverse Traveler Gift Guide 2012 Book of the MonthSurprise Book of the Month | Brilliant Books $66.00 – $295.00
This is a brilliant idea from Brilliant Books. If you have a literary fan who is always searching for a new read, consider giving them a new title every month. Each subscription is unique because the book selections are based on the reader’s preferences in genre, author, likes and dislikes. You can give a year of hardcover books ($295) or paperback ($185) or choose 6-month or 4-month options for as little as $66. In the six years since they started the program they’ve only had three books come back for exchange — and two were because the recipient already read and loved the selection.

 

Traverse Traveler Gift Guide 2012 felted hatsFelted Wool Hats by Hatty Matty | Lilies of the Alley $24.95 — $64.95
A handmade hat is a statement of style. And in northern Michigan it’s practically a necessity. I love these beautiful hats from Hatty Matty, aka Cindy Hardy the owner of Lilies of the Alley. These felted wool hats come in all sorts of styles and colors. And there are sizes for kids as well as adults with a range in prices for each. In case you’ve never been, Lilies of the Alley is tucked in the alley behind Brew and Brilliant Books in downtown Traverse City.

 

Traverse Traveler Gift Guide 2012 Butter lips and tipsLips & Tips | Venus $25.00
This cute combo comes from the folks at Butter, a London brand know for their fashion-forward colors. The nail polish and lip gloss from Butter is vegan-friendly, making this a great gift for the animal lover too. Venus carries a full line of Butter nail polish selections, but I especially loved some of their holiday line which is full of sparkle for the glam affect. Every girlfriend needs a little glitter, right?

 



Wine About It

Traverse Traveler Gift Guide 2012 Gallery 50 corkscrew2-in-1 Corkscrew & Bottle Stopper | Gallery 50 $35.00
Need a classy gift for your boss? Are you going to a holiday party and looking for something for the hostess who has everything? Choose from a selection of hand-turned wooden bottle stoppers. Twist the handle and you’ll revel the corkscrew hidden inside. I’m loving the green ones, made from box elder wood.

 

Traverse Traveler Gift Guide 2012 wine stackerStack wine bottle storage | Cool Stuff Express $9.95
This clever little black silicone wine bottle is the secret to storing your wine in a stack on the counter just like you’re supposed to… horizontally. Simply separate the bottle into two halves and position on either side of your wine bottles along a shelf or counter. The silicone grips to smooth surfaces and acts like bookends for your wine. Image courtesy of Cool Stuff Express

 

Traverse Traveler Gift Guide 2012 cork purseCork Purses | Gallery 50 $45.00 – $78.00
I am crazy for corks. In fact, I’ve created a whole Pinterest board dedicated to cork crafts. But I have yet to see another cork craft like this. Artist Jean Ackerman from Kingsley, Michigan is creating cork purses, many of which are decorated with corks from Michigan wineries. If you’re looking for a unique gift for a Michigan wine lover I think we’ve got you covered.

 

Traverse Traveler Gift Guide 2012 wine canteensSport Wine Canteen | Black Star Farms $26.50
Backpackers and beach goers will love this new canteen available in Rouge (red) and Blanc (green). If you’ve ever wanted to bring a bottle of wine to the park, on the boat or on a picnic, but worried about the glass bottle this is the perfect solution. These eco-friendly metal containers will fit a full bottle of wine! Take your vino to go, and no one will know. Comes in a variety of colors. Available at TASTES of Black Star Farms in The Village.

 

Traverse Traveler Gift Guide 2012 Forty-Five North RoseRosé of Cabernet Franc | Forty-Five North Vineyard & Winery $26.00
With hundreds of Michigan wines to choose from, it’s tough to narrow it down to one. So this is one of many that make up my list of favorites. The Rosé of Cabernet Franc from Forty-Five North is a great choice for holiday gifting because it suits so many palattes. I drink mosty whites, and lean toward the sweet, but this wine I love. My husband loves a good red, and he too was drawn to this rosé. Notes from the winemaker alude to big aromas of cherry and raspberry, a creamy mouth feel and noticeable tannins. This wine is great to give as well as receive. Image courtesy of Forty-Five North

 



Hostess with the Mostest

Traverse Traveler Gift Guide 2012 soy votive candleSoy Votive Candles | Red Ostrich $6.95
Looking for the hot seller this season? Search no further than these little beauties from Red Ostrich. Forget the tequila, pick up a double shot of soy. Soy candles that is. They carry 25 scents including the popular orange vanilla, black pepper and holiday spice. These tiny 2 oz. candles are an eco-friendly gift that everyone can enjoy. They burn clean and smell wonderful and are Made in the USA. Image courtesy of Red Ostrich

 

Traverse Traveler Gift Guide 2012 Paper Blanks journalsPaper Blanks | Premier Floral $17.00 – $29.00
It’s so much nicer to keep a journal when the process of holding and opening it are a pleasure. This collection of lined and unlined journals from Paper Blanks are really beautiful. I love the texture of the covers, and they have a lovely metal latch closure that harkens back to locked diaries and forbidden secrets. With traditional patterns these designs would also be suitable for man who loves to write or draw, or for use as a cottage guest book.

 

Traverse Traveler Gift Guide 2012 turtle dove soapsTurtle Doves Soaps | Venus $32.00
Your friends will feel so special when presented with this pretty package dressed in silver moire. Open it up and discover two turtle doves made of silky soap scented with tulip and hyacinth, resting in a porcelain bowl. It’s elegant enough for your mother-in-law to put next to the towels in the guest bath or thoughtful enough for your dearest friend.

 

Traverse Traveler Gift Guide 2012 dog pillowDog Pillows | Premier Floral $25.00
If your friend is a dog lover they’ll fall for these colorful and cozy pillows inspired by their four-legged friends. The moment I saw the Boston Tea Terrier I thought of my best friend who grew up with the bug-eyed little cuties. There are several designs to choose from including Eager Beagle and Black Lab Summer Cottages.

 

Traverse Traveler Gift Guide 2012 twig pencilsTwig Pencils | Gallery 50 $7.50 or $9.50
If your host is a letter writer, or they love the lodge look, these pencils will be a handy addition to their desk. If not, they’ll look great in a cup next to the phone at the cottage. Either way, these fat twig pencils, available in traditional or colored varieties, make a great hostess gift or stocking stuffer for the kids. Need to get to the point? Simply carve with a knife to sharpen the tip.

 



For the Kiddos

Traverse Traveler Gift Guide 2012 magnetic boardMagnetic Boards | Sweet Pea $14.95 / $22.95
Room decor is tough when the kids interests change every year. So why not keep it flexible and give them a magnetic board that looks great and can be decorated with the recipient in mind. These scalloped-edged metal squares are available in 12" x 12" or 18" x 18" sizes in several colors. This company sells a huge variety of magnet designs to completely customize the board. From alphabet letters to animals to holidays and more.

 

Traverse Traveler Gift Guide 2012 Gamago PhoneyGamaGo Phoney | Cool Stuff Express $4.95
The latest trend coming from Japan are these cute little animals to decorate your tween’s phone. They plug into the headphone jack, which means they’ll fit nearly any style smartphone, tablet or MP3 player. "A friend for your phone," they say. Kids will love to collect these little plastic pets and customize their tech gadgets.

 

Traverse Traveler Gift Guide 2012 kids booksChildren’s Books | Brilliant Books $15.99 – $16.99
I stopped in to Brilliant Books to get a few recommendations for new titles the kids might like. Extra Yarn, The Cloud Spinner and This is Not My Hat would be great books for children 4-9 years old. They have colorful illustrations and stories that help children appreciate the value of Things. For more recommendations visit Brilliant Books and ask for Heather or Jack.

 

Traverse Traveler Gift Guide 2012 kids candyCrazy Candy | Cool Stuff Express prices vary
Kids always love what’s gooey, gross and flavored in unexpected ways. Cool Stuff Express on Union Street in Traverse City has a huge collection of all of the above. Some of this year’s most popular trends include anything with mustaches or bacon, tongue tattoos, flavored lipbalm and mints. And for the boys and girls who were less than cheery this holiday season: the classic gummy candy coal.

 

Traverse Traveler Gift Guide 2012 Elf on the ShelfElf on the Shelf | Toy Harbor $31.00
If you’re looking for a fun and engaging activity book to share with your children or grandchildren during the holiday season pick up an Elf on the Shelf. The book comes with an elf (boy or girl elf options now available) and a story book explaining how Santa sends scout elves out each Christmas to report on chilldren’s behavior. Once opened the children can name and register the elf at elfonashelf.com. Thanks to Christmas magic the elf travels each night to see Santa, and reappears in your home in a different location. My kids love finding out what our elf, Scuttle, has been up to while we were sleeping.

 

 

I hope you’ve enjoyed my collection of Holiday shopping ideas. You can find all of these items in northern Michigan stores, and many are available on their respective websites as well. Please spend some of your time and money this season supporting our local economy. Your gifts will be more unique, and your money will stay in the community.

 

Happy Holidays from Traverse Traveler!

By |2012-12-05T14:12:52+00:00December 5th, 2012|Hometown Highlights, Traverse City|0 Comments

Colanta Walker Dairy Festival at The Village

Colantha Walker Dairy Festival logoA Day of Celebration for one Fabulous, Famous Cow

 

In the 1920s the star resident of the State Hospital in Traverse City was none other than a prize heifer named Colantha. At the time, the average milk production for a dairy cow was just under 4,000 lbs. And then along came a cow named Colantha whose record production in 1926 was 22,918 lbs in one year!

She was so revered by the residents and staff that upon her death a huge party was held in her honor and a special headstone carved in her memory. Now, with a new community developing at the Village, they want to bring that celebratory spirit back in her honor.

 

The first annual Colatha Walker Dairy Festival will take place on Sunday, June 13th in The Village at Grand Traverse Commons. Celebrate the famous cow with fun, food and special events in her honor.

 

Festival Schedule
10am-Noon Pancake Breakfast
10am-3pm Farmers Market
10am-7pm Food, Art & Merch Vendors
Noon-1pm Public Parade to Colantha’s Headstone @ Barns
1pm-7pm Live Music (Sister Wilene et al)
2pm-3:30pm Great Grilled Cheese Grill-off
5pm-7pm Street Dance

There will also be Food Demonstrations, Wagon Rides, Kid’s Activities, Wine & Cheese Pairings along with Milk & Cookie Pairings for the kids, thoughout the day!

 

For more details, check out www.thevillagetc.com.

By |2010-06-11T10:13:15+00:00June 11th, 2010|Attractions, Events, Traverse City|0 Comments

The Village: Behind the Scenes Tour with Ray Minervini

hometown highlights The Village graphic

Hometown Highlights: The Village at Grand Traverse Commons

Building 50 The Village at Grand Traverse CommonsDid you know…the entire campus at the old Traverse City State Hospital, one million square feet of brick, wood and stone, was built from the ground up in less than 2 years? There’s 400,000 square feet of space in Building 50 alone! That’s an architectural feat that must have taken an army. And that’s just one of the amazing facts I learned from Ray Minervini, developer of The Village at Grand Traverse Commons, on my recent behind-the-scenes tour.

 

When I was in high school, here in Traverse City, the old State Hospital was shut down and abandoned. The grounds became a destination for vandals and daredevils who returned with stories of ghosts, eerie tunnels and mysterious bumps in the night. It was sad to see the such a huge piece of Traverse City history disappearing into the landscape as new developments surrounded it on all sides. Most of us just drove past the big stone pyramid on Division street and barely wondered about the towering structures that lie dormant behind the tall pines.

And then came Ray Minervini. He had a vision of a thriving community, reminiscent of European cities where people worked, ate, entertained and lived together in the presence of history. Now the site that was built in 1885 to house the mentally insane has begun a transformation into this vibrant hub of arts and culture just as Ray imagined.

Other than a few cups of coffee at Cuppa Joe, and special dinners at Stella, I hadn’t spent much time on the new Village campus until I met Bryan Ulbrich of Left Foot Charley when they became a Mealtickets client in 2007. He had begun transforming the old Laundry facility into the winery and tasting room for Left Foot Charley. The image that stands out in my mind was a 2′ heaping pile of faucet handles leftover from the mazes of underground plumbing they removed during reconstruction. It was this salvation of the old, amidst plans for something new, that piqued my curiousity.

Which brings me to my recent tour with Ray. Beaming at the success of the Traverse City Wine Festival this summer on the grounds in front of Building 50, I asked Ray Minervini if he would take me on a behind the scenes tour this fall. "We’ll work our way from the bottom, to the top," he promised. I was determined to make sure he kept his word, and did he ever.

 

From the Bottom

Building 50 at The Village of Grand Traverse CommonsThe Village at Grand Traverse Commons is a 500 acre site located in the heart of Traverse City. That’s right, 500 acres, over 400 of which are parkland. Ray likes to call it, "Traverse City’s central park." The former asylum campus occupies 60 acres. And Building 50, the central building with the red spires, is over 400,000 square feet. Ray and I began the tour at the bottom, in what’s called the Mercato of Building 50.

 

The Mercato in Building 50 at The VillageJust below ground level on the south side of Building 50 lies the Mercato. At one end is Stella, a fabulous Italian restaurant and one of the first tennants of The Village. I met Ray outside the elevators at the far end of the building. Just around the corner from Stella, as we entered the Mercato, I noticed there’s a small gallery exhibiting before & after images of the redeveloped spaces as well as artifacts discovered during renovation. It’s a great place to stop and appreciate all the work they’ve done so far.

 

The Mercato in Building 50 in The VillageThe Mercato is the main shopping venue at The Village, with everything from art and fashion to wine and gelato. The long hallway opens up on each side with arched open doorways leading into each space. Vendors goods extend out into the hallway which is lined with an ever changing exhibition of art. Unlocking a non-descript door in the Mercato Ray revealed a narrow steep staircase leading to the underground tunnel system.

 

I have to admit, I was a little leery of the "tunnels". My great aunt worked in the asylum for a short time and one of her jobs was the transportation of patients in and out of the buildings by way of the tunnels. Her descriptions left me in no hurry to visit such a place. But times have changed, and so has The Village. So I ventured in.

 

tunnel under Building 50 in The VillageLit from beginning to end with only small blubs overhead was a long tunnel constructed in hand laid brick. The roof was arched and the floor bowed in the center. It felt like looking down the barrell a gun, only we were standing in it.

As we walked toward the mid-point of the tunnel Ray explained how they would have built the space by slowly moving a wooden arch form, laying bricks on top to create the dome, and then sliding the form a few feet forward to continue the tunnel.

Up ahead we could see a more recent addition to the roof, an iron covering, indicating we were directly underneath the parking area for the Mercato. As development continues Ray imagines taking advantage of unique spaces like this, perhaps for private wine cellars.

Upon returning to land level, back the way we came, we proceeded straight to the top.

 

To the Top

condo inside Building 50, The Villagecondo view inside Building 50, The VillageThe south wing of Building 50, where reconstruction is nearly complete, was originally the Men’s residences. The first and second floors now house offices including those of the developer, The Minervini Group. The third floor is largely residential, offering beautiful condos with open loft-style spaces. The renovation of these areas was often the most difficult as they had to meet the requirements of several agencies including the National Trust for Historic Building, State regulations and National Park Service guidelines. The respect for historic craftsmanship is evident in every detail, from the polished wooden floors to the top of the 13′ plaster walls. For a look inside, our next stop was Ray’s condo in the restored attic.

 

The attic space was not utilized as living or working space in the original design. But the Minervini Group decided it would make a great place for condos. And the view would be spectacular. The beauty of living inside the Village is this amazing juxtaposition of old and new. Butter yellow bricks and tell tale high ceilings remind you it’s The Village, but otherwise you might think it’s a loft in New York. Around the corner from the entrance an iron staircase spirals up to the small loft bedroom. But we we came to see lies higher yet.

view inside spire at The VillageLooking up from the stairway landing Ray pulled down a latch and released a small wooden ladder. After the trip into the tunnel I realized I was wearing the wrong shoes for this tour. Sneakers would have been the way to go. And at the sight of this ladder with 2 inch rungs I was going to have to be careful. Did I mention heights are not my favorite thing? So up we went. One at a time, up short ladders, holding pipes and wooden ledges, zigzagging our way up several small flights, until we reached another latch. The roof.

We made it to the top. At last we were inside one of the red spires that are synonymous with The Village. Even with the latched closed the space was small, probably 5 feet wide at most. But the view was amazing. This is what I came for. We could see the colors of autumn in every direction, and with clear blue skies it was easy to make out the view of west Grand Traverse Bay to the north, and the Great Wolf Lodge and East Junior High, to the south. Other than the top of the watertower, this is the highest view in The Village.

 

 

From South to North

brick wall at The Villagefaded bricks inside Building 50, The VillageAfter safely managing my way back down the ladder Ray offered to continue the tour on the North side of the building, so I could see the areas not yet restored. We wandered through the Mercato once again, past Sweet Asylum and "the best gelato this side of Italy," according to my guide. If you’ve ever wondered what lies behind those heavy metal doors displaying Employees Only signs, this is where your tour begins.

The large central area in the middle of Building 50 is the Chapel. There are several huge spaces, one leading into the next, with towering brick walls brightened by natural light spilling in from 8′ windows. Here Ray invisions a grand restaurant. I love turning my camera to macro mode to capture the details and textures all around me. So many modern restaurants like Olive Garden try to recreate this atmosphere but it’s not the same. But here the history is real. Ray agreed, "When you look at it, it has the patina of age that you just can’t create."

 

chapel inside The Villagechapel windows inside The VillageThrough more hallways and passages, in which I’d surely be lost without a guide, we ended up in the chapel itself. This will be the gathering space for the Commons. The perfect place for wedding receptions, dances, and a host of community events. Closing my eyes it’s easy to imagine music and laughter spilling from the windows, while the neighboring condo units are barely disturbed — thanks to solid brick walls 2 feet thick to buffer the sound. After seeing the transformation of Stella and Left Foot Charley, it’s not so difficult to picture how beautiful this too will be.

As we wandered through more twists and turns, along peeling lead paint and plaster walls I picked up a few more interesting facts. The State Hospital once housed over 3500 patients. The philosophy used to treat their mental health was that of Thomas Story Kirkbride. He believed the road to mental health was surrounded by beautiful architecture, immersed in nature and grounded with hard work.

 

north hall in Building 50, The Villagenorth hall in Building 50, The VillageWe made it to the long hallway of the women’s dormitory and I realized it looked familiar. In fact, the north and south wings of Building 50 are built in exact mirror image. But what’s really amazing is to realize these were built before computers, and laser levels, scaffolding and even electricity…and yet the length of the hallways in both buildings are a perfect match, down to the micrometer.

 

Speaking of electricity, here’s another fascinating tidbit I picked up on the tour. Did you know the State Hospital was the first state owned building with electricity? An on-site steam generator produced heat and electricity for the entire campus. In fact, they had electricity 20 years before the rest of Traverse City!

 

The Village, by the Numbers

Building 50 in The Village at Grand Traverse CommonsBack at street level we exited Building 50 into the parking lot to take in the perfect autumn day. As we looked across Cottageview Drive Ray explained more of the history of the other buildings on campus. Directly across from Building 50 is Pleasanton Bakery, formerly the firestation. I mentioned earlier that Left Foot Charley and Higher Grounds occupy the former laundry facility. And next door to them, along Red Drive, is Underground Cheesecake in the old potato peeling building. That’s right, the hospital needed an entire building just for removing potato skins. With 3500 patients, and countless staff I guess that makes sense. There was also a butcher and a slaughterhouse on-site, but not on my tour, thanks.

 

I’m not great with numbers, but I am amazed by some of the statistics associated with constructing Building 50, the main adminstration building. Forgive me for all the zeros, but you have to admit this is impressive.

  • 11,000,000 bricks, made locally in neighboring Grelickville
  • 1,800 windows, many of which are over 8′ tall
  • 400,000 sq.ft. in the main building alone.
  • With 1,000,000 sq.ft. of redevelopment space in the entire project, of which 250,000 sq.ft. are already complete, I asked Ray how he manages to tackle one of the largests historic redevelopment projects in the United States. "One little bite at a time," he said, with a smile.

 

Ray Minervini inside Stella, The VillageWe ended our tour that day with a quick photo of the developer in one of his favorite spots, inside Stella. Before I left though, I had one last question for Ray. There are so many rumors about ghosts from the old asylum, so I wondered if Ray had seen anything unusual. "Not once," he said, almost as surprised as I was to hear it. He did have a great story about Genevieve, the ghost at Bowers Harbor Inn…but that’s a tale for another time.

 

For more information about The Village visit their website at www.thevillagetc.com.

 

 

Traverse City Microbrewery & Music Festival 8/29

Traverse City Microbrewery & Music Festival image1st Annual Microbrewery Festival takes place Saturday August 29th at The Village of Grand Traverse Commons

 

Whether you’re a die-hard mug-toting Right Brain fan, or relish the trip up to Short’s for a pint in Bellaire, you can’t resist the opportunity to sample them both, and then some, at the Traverse City Microbrewery & Music Festival this weekend. Hosted on the grand lawn in front of Building 50 at The Village, this festival has something for everyone.

Craft brewers from across the state will gather amongs the trees to share samples with guests under the tent. And while you’re sipping brews from the dozens of vendors you can take in the amazing music including GT Pipes & Drums, Mike Moran & Levi Britton and Buckwheat Zydeco.

 

Tickets are $25 in advance, $30 at the door and includes 8 pours and entertainment throughout the evening. Festivities begin at 5pm and close at 10pm. Attendees must be 21 and over with photo ID.

 

For more details and a complete list of brewers, entertainment and schedule of events check out www.tcbeerfest.com.

 

By |2009-08-26T20:09:53+00:00August 26th, 2009|Attractions, Entertainment, Events, Traverse City|0 Comments

Traverse City Wine & Art Festival

Traverse City Wine & Art Festival

First annual Traverse City Wine & Art Festival at The Village

 

After years of watching the wine festivals in Leland and Northport swell to numbers that can barely be contained by the tents overhead, there is finally a festival right here in Traverse City. Saturday, August 22nd the Traverse City Wine & Art Festival will be held on the grounds outside Building 50 at The Village.

The festival features wines from 22 area wineries, from both Leelanau and Old Mission peninsulas. And unlike other wine festivals, which operate primarily as tasting events, attendees will receive 2 full glass pours with the $20 ticket. Additional drink tickets are available for $4.

 

The event also includes a juried art show, live music from Thom Jayne and the Nomads, as well as food from Underground Cheesecake, Bourbon 72, Silvertree Deli and Maybings.

 

Tickets are $20 and are available through participating wineries or purchase online through the LPVA. For more details about the festival visit their website at www.traversecitywinefestival.com.

 

Wine on Tap at Left Foot Charley

 Urban Winery Adds Food and New Wines on Tap

Left Foot Charley, located in the Village at Grand Traverse Commons, now features a regular menu of small bites to enjoy along with your tasting selections. The Wine Bar at Left Foot Charley includes fantastic dishes that are healthy, local and pair fabulously with wine. Choose from nearly a dozen options including;

  • The Ploughman’s Lunch:  Denhay Farms Cheddar, fresh bread, olives, and Sopressata salami
  • Left Turn: curry hummus, pita and cukes
  • The Goat: goat cheese, fig, walnut spread and baguette toasts

In an effort to be more cost-effective and eco-friendly, Left Foot Charley is now dispensing some select wines on tap. Bring in your own 1 liter bottle, or buy a wine growler and they’ll fill it on site. They currently feature Pinot Grigio, Pinot Blanc and Riesling MD.

For more information on Left Foot Charley, including a map to their location, visit our Dining & Wineries page.

By |2009-03-30T10:36:25+00:00March 30th, 2009|Attractions, Traverse City, Wineries|0 Comments

Great Indoor Folk Festival at The Village

Dozens of Folk Artists Perform on Saturday at Building 50

The Village at Grand Traverse Commons is host to a folk festival on Saturday February 7th. Five stages will be set-up throughout Building 50 to host as many as 75 performers throughout the day. Brought to you by Northern Michigan Songwriters in the Round. For a complete list of performers Click Here.

In addition, Another Cuppa Joe will host an Open Mic Stage at their coffeehouse in The Village.

 

The festival is a free, non-profit event. Individual artists will offer their CDs available for sale. 

 

By |2009-02-03T12:08:06+00:00February 3rd, 2009|Check This Out, Entertainment, Events, Traverse City|0 Comments

Holiday Open House, The Village

Village at Grand Traverse Commons imageShop The Village for Holiday Fun
Friday December 12

Come experience the holiday magic in the historic Village at Grand Traverse Commons. Enjoy live music, delectable appetizers, and seasonal specials as you shop for that perfect gift from dozens of unique merchants. Join in The Village Adventure Game for a chance to win big.

When:  Friday, December 12th from 5pm – 9pm

Where: The Village at Grand Traverse Commons

Who: Building 50 and the Surrounding Merchants

By |2008-12-10T15:13:17+00:00December 10th, 2008|Attractions, Events, Traverse City|0 Comments

Fromage & Pasta at Left Foot Charley

Left Foot Charley card graphicA Thanksgiving Event to Support the Northern Michigan Health Clinic

 

Help put the "Thanks" and "Giving" back into Thanksgiving by enjoying some Fromage and Pasta provided by Trattoria Stella Chef Myles Anton. On Saturday November 29th from 11am – 7pm stop by the winery for a festive food and wine pairing and offer your goodwill donation to support the Northern Michigan Health Clinic. Chef Anton’s creations are always exotic and enticing, and Bryan will select a special vintage to match.

The Northern Michigan Health Clinic serves the region’s farm workers. Trattoria Stella and Left Foot Charley are creating this fun event to say "Thanks" to those who work so hard all season long. The wine industry does not exist without healthy men and women to tend to the grapes.

 

100% of the food is donated by Trattoria Stella and 100% of the proceeds go to the clinic.

 

Left Foot Charley is located in The Village at Grand Traverse Commons on Red Drive. Trattoria Stella is there as well, in Building 50. For more information on The Village click here.

By |2008-11-26T10:52:08+00:00November 26th, 2008|Check This Out, Events, Restaurants, Traverse City, Wineries|0 Comments

Meet the Artist: Linda Chamberlain

Gallery 50 Hosts Artist Reception on Saturday August 16th

A few weeks ago at the Suttons Bay Art Fair I had the opportunity to meet Linda Chamberlain and speak with her about her mixed media paintings. I was drawn in by the colors and textures she uses to create the original works. 

She explained that every artist, and especially every painter, must work diligently to create a technique that is distinctly their own. Brush strokes, depth of color and texture, and the media with which you work all play a part. Chamberlain may spend several hours working and reworking a background to bring about the feeling and intensity that suits her.

Chamberlains paintings reflect and explore the relationship between man and his natural environment. She often uses tactile found objects in her work including wire, letterpress type and antique numbers. You’ll also find the appearance of birds, the moon tree, and in her latest pieces, a bear by the name of Bob.

 

For those of you who missed the Suttons Bay Art Fair you still have a chance to meet this artist and see an exhibition of her work. Gallery 50 is hosting an artists reception on Saturday August 16, from 6:00 – 9:00pm. The exhibit, ReCollections: Mixed Media by Linda Chamberlain & Ginnie Cappaert, will be on display through September 24th.

For more information on exhibitions at Gallery 50, visit their website. For a map to The Village and Gallery 50 check out our Attractions page.

By |2008-08-15T09:42:41+00:00August 15th, 2008|Art Scene, Events, Traverse City|0 Comments

Friday Farm Market at The Village

Pick-up Some Farm Fresh Goodies for the Weekend at The Village

 

Stop by The Village at Grand Traverse Commons today and every friday for fresh from the garden fruits, flowers, vegetables and more. Visit with area food artisans and sample many of their delicious offerings.

 

We stopped by recently lured by the wonderful smells of a fresh stirfry prepared by Munson dietitian Laura McCain. The market is located across from Left Foot Charley winery and Higher Grounds coffee. There’s a parking area adjacent to the grassy lawn where the merchants set-up their tents.

On this trip we also sampled some wonderful lavender infused ice tea and lemonade, and purchased bread from Pleasanton Bakery. The market is small, but the people are all friendly and happy to share their knowledge while you browse.

 

Don’t forget to take a side trip through the Mercado, just across the parking area in Building 50. The variety of businesses continues to grow. We always stop in to say hello to Kevin at Tastes of Black Star Farms, or grab a bite at Silvertree Deli if we’ve grown hungry from all the stops along the way. For more information of what you’ll find at The Village check out their card on our Attractions page, or visit their website here.

By |2008-08-01T11:34:57+00:00August 1st, 2008|Attractions, Check This Out, Traverse City|0 Comments

Welcome The Village at Grand Traverse Commons

 Mealtickets is proud to welcome The Village at Grand Traverse Commons to our family of advertisers. If you always driven past the big stone pyramid at the corner of Division and 11th Street, but you’ve never ventured in, now is a great time. The redevelopment of the former State Hospital grounds has uncovered a treasure just waiting to be discovered.

Sometimes known as Traverse City’s Central Park, The Village is one of the largest historical rehabilitation sites in the country. Dozens of businesses have already opened, with more on the way. You could spend the day, or a few hours, it’s up to you. Whether you’re in the mood for shopping, a wine tasting, dining or just a stroll through the grounds, The Village is the place to go. And with new businesses opening all the time, as well as concerts, events, and even a farmers market, there will always be something new to discover.

For more information on The Village check out their card on our Attractions page. The visit their website click here. We’ll do our best to keep you posted on what develops right here on the blog.

By |2008-05-13T11:01:56+00:00May 13th, 2008|Attractions, Mealtickets News, Traverse City|0 Comments